Old Country Schoolhouse

Kittson County is slowly losing the little schoolhouses that were spread around the townships. A few are still maintained and used as meeting halls. The rest are ignored, paint peeling, boards rotting and roofs sagging. Some were moved and used for storage buildings but the rest have been knocked down or burned.

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North Star School

This particular little old school house is located on the northern border of section 27 of Richardville township.  It is unusual because it is more than twice the size of a regular school and had a tower.

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The building sits out on the flat prairie and is believed to be more than a hundred years old.
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At one time a interior ladder provided access to the top of the tower.

While I have examined the building and the tower I have not be able to determine why the tower was built on the school house and what it was used for. If you have any knowledge on the history of this school please comment.

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Main classroom – east wing.

The leaking roof has damaged the ceiling and the building will not last much longer.  Note that the blackboards are still hanging on the walls and the old oil burner is still in place.

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Note the three blackboards on the north wall.                    
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Some interesting graffiti                                            

The Murray farm was right across the road to the north. It appears the grandson visited the school a hundred years after it opened.

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This is the interior of the western section of the school with another oil burner and possibly and original wood stove.  Note the student lockers along the back wall. The photo was taken while standing of what appeared to be a small stage. 

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This shows the western half of the school, while  looking eastward.

If you have any information regarding this old country school house please comment on this blog or email me at gbrowne@wiktel.com.  I know there are many people who would enjoy hearing more about this school.

 

 

 

Close-up Photography

I bought a new digital camera not too long ago and I have been very pleased with the results. It has a number of improvements over my previous digital cameras but I have neglected to get familiar with some of the finer points. It has a zoom lens and I have taken advantage of it to improve normal photos but I have not tested it to the maximum. This post shows the results of pushing the zoom/telephoto to the maximum.

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Note the grey grain elevator at the far end of the street.

This first shot was taken in Lancaster looking north towards the railway tracks and the most westerly grain elevator which is more than a block away. If you look closely you can see the top of the elevator in the center of the photo in the distance. It is very difficult to see any windows in the top section of the elevator.

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Windows in the upper floors of the elevator.

This second shot shows not only the windows but the damage to the glass and the frames. This picture was taken in exactly the same location the first one was taken.  It was not until I got home and displayed it on my computer that  I was amazed with the detail.

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The next shot was taken looking east, towards the town park and the main street clock. The reddish building is the Lancaster Liquor store. In the distance you can see a red vehicle parked on the right hand side of the street. The Town Park and the clock is behind the car but too far away to be easily seen.

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Town Clock by the Town Park

This photo was taken while standing in the same location as the last one. A small piece of the red car can been seen in the lower left hand corner of the photo. Christmas decorations can be seen along the bottom of the picture. The new wooden fence on the back of the park is obvious. Above it is the metal roof of the Town Shop. The time of day is easily read.

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Lancaster water tower.

This last example is of the town water tower that sits behind the community center. Some of the lettering can be read.

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The final shot fills the photo with the letters STE and the hand railing. It is obviously blurred but that is because I failed to hold the camera steady while shooting up in the air.  By using a tripod this problem is eliminated.

I am very please with the telephoto shots and need to take more advantage of this feature. Without the examples I have shown it is very difficult to know when a photo was shot close up or a considerable distance away.  I am looking forward to checking out more of the camera’s features.